Engineering and Leadership || 67 ways to become your company's top engineer

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Are you the kind of engineer who isn’t satisfied just cruising along? Are you looking to be one of your company’s best? Here are 67 things that you can do today to become your company’s top engineer.

Start today by choosing just five and putting them into action. Once those five become part of your regular routine, chose another five and keep going.

I’ve also added excellent references and reading material within the action item wherever I could. I’ve also added links to Audible.com audiobooks for some of the books too. You can download one book for free with them when you sign up for their free 30-day trial, which is pretty slick.

The List

  1. Get enough sleep.
  2. Eat properly.
  3. Prepare for meetings.
  4. Take careful notes.
  5. Jump after site experience.
  6. Show up early.
  7. Leave late.
  8. Take courses.
  9. Read books.
  10. Listen to audiobooks.
  11. Choose your attitude.
  12. Learn how to craft an email.
  13. Check your spelling.
  14. Get certified as a professional engineer.
  15. Get another degree.
  16. Go to conferences.
  17. Be pleasant.
  18. Ask smart questions.
  19. Don’t use acronyms unless you know for a fact that everyone in the room knows what you’re talking about.
  20. Listen actively.
  21. Use a Moleskine.
  22. Keep a to do list.
  23. Keep your calendar up to date.
  24. Eat That Frog! (Free audiobook version here)
  25. Find a mentor.
  26. Mentor someone else.
  27. Volunteer.
  28. Read trade magazines.
  29. Have a vision for your future self.
  30. Focus on the task at hand. (Free audiobook version here.)
  31. Catch up with your boss after anything off site.
  32. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  33. Show up.
  34. Do the social stuff after hours.
  35. Become a recognized expert in your field.
  36. Participate in meetings.
  37. Hold short meetings.
  38. Use an agenda when you host a meeting.
  39. Build your day around routines.
  40. Be responsive to communication.
  41. Dress the part – for the office and the field.
  42. Develop your leadership skills.
  43. Learn to use your tools and software better than anyone else.
  44. Don’t gossip about others.
  45. Give credit where credit is due.
  46. Make public safety an absolute priority over everything else. Always.
  47. Take the safety rules seriously when on site.
  48. Respect other people’s time.
  49. Learn to ask pointed questions tactfully.
  50. Be honest about what you know and what you don’t.
  51. Be a perpetual student of your field. You’re never done learning.
  52. Put first things first. (Free audiobook version here)
  53. Adopt a win-win mentality. Better to walk away from a deal than to have the other party lose.
  54. If it takes less than three minutes, do it now.
  55. Learn to take criticism.
  56. Have someone review your work.
  57. Treat everything like its your life’s work.
  58. Learn from your mistakes – heck, write them down in your own personal lessons learned document.
  59. Have a personal mission statement, and live by it.
  60. Find heroes to model your life after – the world of engineering is full of them.
  61. Do the work that no one else will do.
  62. Let people know where you are.
  63. Find a way to do things better.
  64. Don’t settle for “This is how we’ve always done it”.
  65. Know your company’s policies and procedures like the back of your hand.
  66. Make other people look good.
  67. Don’t speak just for the sake of being heard.

Do you have any other tips for engineers? Share them in the comments section below.

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